The holidays are here, and one of the best ways to celebrate in Austin is by visiting the city’s 56th Annual Trail of Lights. From November 28, 2020 through January 3, 2021, Zilker Park transforms into a drive-thru winter wonderland as it's lit up by more than 2 million lights, 90 lighted holiday trees and more than 70 other holiday displays and lighted tunnels. At this year's socially-distanced drive-thru event, guests can tune in via the car radio for holiday music, highlights & history and more. Find out how and when to visit the 2020 Austin Trail of Lights.
Austin Trail of Lights. Credit Dear Wesleyann Photography.
First opening in 1965 as the Yule Fest, the Trail of Lights has expanded and evolved throughout the years to become the well loved, community-wide celebration that it is today. More than 300,000 people enjoy the event each year, and visitors can take part in this Austin tradition by purchasing a ticket based on your preferred date and time. Some events to mark on your calendar are UT Night on December 13, Austin FC Night on December 18 and Stars Nights on December 29-30. Along with the beautiful lights and displays, make sure to tune in to 88.3 FM to hear the welcome video. Then change dial to 87.9 to listen to TOL Radio along the Trail.
All vehicle admission passes are valid for the designated event date and entry time. Estimated time on the actual Austin Trail of Lights is about 20 minutes; expect a wait for processing and staging in the vehicle queue upon arrival and prior to the actual Trail entry. Overall time estimate of the experience is 1 hour. Find more vehicle and entry information on the Trail of Lights website.
Check out the calendar and purchase your tickets today!
Zilker Tree. Credit Dear Wesleyann Photography.
What To Do Nearby
If you want to grab a bite before hitting the trail, Barton Springs Road has plenty of fantastic restaurants to choose from. Order a fried chicken picnic basket to-go from the Carpenter Hotel, just down the road. If you’re looking for Tex-Mex, you’re in luck – the original Chuy’s (an Austin staple) is also located along Barton Springs Road and is available for curb-side pickup. Family can't settle on one place? The Picnic, Barton Spring Road’s largest food truck park, has a variety of options to please everyone.
This fun-filled fest has something for the whole family and truly completes the holiday season in Austin. Make sure to visit the trail before it's gone for the year!